Bags Are Packed, but is Everyone Ready (for college)?

08.08.2014

My mom sobbed quietly for most of the four hour trip that hot August day many years ago. As their firstborn, as well as the first in the family to attend college, this was a new experience for everyone. There was very little that my parents could provide in terms of what to do, or what not to do, as they delivered me with most all of my belongings to the small college I would be attending five hours away from home.

 

Luckily I managed to be successful without any damaging scars. The voyage to college has changed over the years for many students and families. Oftentimes roommates have the whole summer to get to know one another via social media, Facetime, Skype, etc. Some schools have elaborate “camp like” 1st year orientations, or other mini orientations throughout the summer to get students acclimated to the college living experience.

 

While counseling, therapy, or mental health services continue to be a stigma in society, the truth is there are a staggering number of students who have been diagnosed with a learning disability, had many years of counseling, may have been on psychiatric medications, or have overcome various life obstacles who are or will be attending college. On some campuses, supports and services are easily accessible, while others may be more laborious. As a parent helping their student transition to college, you may need to help them navigate who or where to seek out help (you may also need to remind them to advocate for themselves since mom and dad will not be able to keep tabs so easily).

 

Here are some suggestions for parents to consider as their child is transitioning to college: Read the rest of this entry »

Accessing Help

08.30.2012

In my years of working with families there is always a “What” and “Why Now,” that leads them to my office. For example:

What: My child is always goofing off and getting into trouble

Why Now: My child is going to get expelled

What: I know there’s something “wrong” with my child

Why Now: I need answers, and everyone else is minimizing my concerns

There are various reasons why Parents seek out help, and I hope to provide some answers for Parents who do not know where to begin regarding concerns your child may be having at school. Read the rest of this entry »

Transitions: Back to School

08.08.2012
*a more personal blog post

Growing up in a college town, my friends and I always had front row seats to the ebb and flow of the student population. In fall, the mass arrival. In spring, the mass exodus. And then one summer it was my family’s turn to pack our car to the gills to drop off the firstborn at college.

 

My dad drove the car, I rode shotgun, and my mom sat in the back. The exact travel logistics escape me other than a 4 hour drive to school consisted of also trying to find a hotel room to stay in the night before check in. Why we didn’t just leave early the next day, I’m not sure. Hotels were either booked up or too expensive for a night. So we just slept in the car of a rest stop. The quick drive the next morning consisted of sniffles from the back. At the time I wasn’t sure sure why my mom was crying, or why she even decided to come if she was going to get all emotional–that’s what I thought to myself.

 

Arriving to my new dorm and unpacking my belongings with my parents was a bit embarrassing, but then again everyone’s parents were doing the same thing. Of course I never thought my parents were as cool as everyone else. When my parents finally left, I felt much excitement in my new independence and freedom, the very things I had longed for embracing in my new chapter in life.